Mobility - walking the walk
At Acrodata we commenced our transition to the cloud some 5 years ago. Our first step was to implement the cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, salesforce.com. At the time, we were excited by the fact that we could sync our CRM system with our email and also have full access to our contact database from our smart phones.
Fast-forward 5 years and we've come a long way. In that time, we have built a custom management system (Acrodata Management System or AMS) using the open-source platform Drupal. The AMS is operating system and device-agnostic and allows our clients to place and track orders, request pricing and interact with our team in realtime. We also have an app that allows staff to enter timesheet data from tablets and smart phones, which feeds into the AMS for management sign-off and in turn to our payroll system.
More recently, the Acrodata team has expanded the AMS to include our own CRM system. We found with salesforce that we were paying for a whole lot of functionality that was not being utilised. Our primary use for CRM is tracking client interactions and monitoring our sales pipeline and we felt that developing our own module was the way to go.
We have also adopted Microsoft's enterprise grade office suite in the cloud (Office 365). Office 365 (including hosted exchange, sharepoint and lync) allows for collaboration and realtime communications with any member of the team whether they are in Hobart, Melbourne or Rio! Again, it can be from any device that has an internet connection.
This stratgey has been motivated by 3 primary factors:
- to provide our team members with more flexible and mobile working conditions;
- to reduce overheads relating to hardware and software purchases; and
- to allow us to deliver a superior service to our customers.
Our own experience over recent years now equips us with a body of knowledge allowing us to assist our customers with their shift to the cloud. We are now able to not only talk the talk, but also to walk the walk!